High Court confirms three fresh inquests in Gosport War Memorial Hospital case
The High Court has today confirmed that three fresh inquests will take place into the deaths of Arthur Denis Brian Cunningham, Gladys Mabel Richards and Robert Wilson who all died at Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire in 1998.
Posted on 28 June 2023
- Arthur Denis Brian Cunningham died aged 79, five days after he was admitted to Gosport War Memorial Hospital. He was admitted to the Gosport Hospital for active treatment of a sacral sore on 21 August 1998. Despite being expected to return to his nursing home, he died five days later. His first inquest concluded that the administration of medication contributed more than minimally/negligibly to his death but the medication was given for therapeutic purposes and administered appropriately.
- Gladys Mabel Richards was admitted on 17 August 1998 and died on 21 August 1998. She was sent to Gosport for rehabilitation after dislocating her hip following recent partial hip replacement surgery. The first inquest into her death returned a narrative verdict which listed a number of things that more than minimally contributed to her death which included the accidental falls she had suffered and the subsequent treatment and immobility, her old age and fragility and the medication administered to her at Gosport War Memorial Hospital for the control of her pain and agitation.
- Robert Wilson, a former Petty Officer in the Royal Navy, died in 1998 aged 74. Mr Wilson suffered a broken shoulder and had been admitted to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. On 14 October 1998 Mr Wilson was transferred to Gosport War Memorial Hospital for recovery, where his medication was changed. It is not clear why the change was made but his family believe the new medication was not appropriate to the conditions or symptoms from which Mr Wilson was suffering. His first inquest concluded that the administration of medication contributed more than minimally/negligibly to his death, that the medication was given for therapeutic purposes but it was not administered appropriately for his symptoms or condition.
- Clifford Houghton who died aged 71 after he was admitted to Gosport War Memorial Hospital in February, 1994, for what was meant to be a period of respite. He died on the same day he was given two doses of diamorphine because of “deterioration”. The 2018 review panel concluded that Mr Houghton was given opioids without appropriate clinical indication. His stepdaughter Pamela Byrne believes there is reason to suspect her stepfather died a violent or unnatural death.
- Dulcie Middleton who died aged 86 in September, 2001, three months after she was admitted to Gosport hospital for rehabilitation following a stroke. Her nephew and daughter, David Wilson and Marjorie Bulbeck, say Mrs Middleton’s treatment at the hospital was neglectful and inhumane, she was not assisted with food and became dehydrated and was denied basic nursing care.
- Eva Page, 88, who was transferred to Dryad Ward in the Hospital from Queen Alexander (Portsmouth) on 27 February 1998. Mrs Page was prescribed morphine and given her first dose on 2 March 1998 and another dose on 3 March 1998. In addition, she was prescribed Midazolam and received Fentanyl through a skin patch. She died on 3 March 1998. It was concluded in the Report that Mrs Page’s case was a case of opioid usage without appropriate clinical indication.
- Horace Smith who was first admitted to Gosport Hospital on 30 March 1999, having been transferred from Haslar Hospital. He was 73 years old. On admission to Gosport he was prescribed diamorphine. His was given his first dose on 5 April 1999 and died the following day.
Families secure inquests into deaths of loved ones at Gosport War Memorial Hospital
Four families have secured permission for inquests into the deaths of loved ones who died while in the care of shamed Gosport War Memorial Hospital. The families are now hoping that others will now join them in the call for a Hillsborough-style inquest.